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Christopher Lee Fast Facts

Horror master, legendary villain Christopher Lee
Horror master, legendary villain Christopher Lee

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    Horror master, legendary villain Christopher Lee

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Horror master, legendary villain Christopher Lee 02:33

Here's a look at British actor Christopher Lee.

Personal:
Birth date:
May 27, 1922
Death date: June 7, 2015
Birthplace: London, England
Birth name: Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
Father: Geoffrey Lee, a professional soldier
    Mother: Contessa Estelle Marie Carandini di Sarzano
    Marriage: Birgit "Gitte" Kroencke Lee (March 17, 1961 - June 7, 2015, his death)
    Children: Christina Ericka, November 23, 1963
    Military Service: Royal Air Force and Special Forces, 1941-1946, Flight Lieutenant
    Other Facts:
    Speaks four languages: French, Italian, Spanish, and German.
    Worked with British Intelligence in World War II.
    Only member of the cast of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy who met author J.R.R. Tolkien.
    Lee is a distant relative by his mother's second marriage, to Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
    Timeline:
    1939-1941
    - Works as an office clerk until joining the RAF during World War II.
    1947 - Joins the Rank Organization acting school, often called "The Charm School," a British program that groomed new acting talent.
    1948 - First movie "Corridor of Mirrors" is released.
    1957 - Begins working with Hammer Film Productions, the start of his horror film career. "The Curse of Frankenstein" is released that same year.
    1958 - "Horror of Dracula" is released, the first time Lee portrays Count Dracula.
    1965 - The first of Dr. Fu Manchu movies, "The Face of Fu Manchu," is released.
    1974 - Appears as James Bond's nemesis in "The Man with the Golden Gun".
    1977 - His autobiography, "Tall, Dark and Gruesome," is published.
    2001 - In recognition of his contributions to film, he receives the Commander of the Order of the British Empire award.
    2002 - Stars in two of the year's top grossing movies, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."
    2003 - His autobiography is re-released with a new title, "Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography of Christopher Lee."
    2009 - Is made a Knight of the British Empire.
    February 2011 - Receives the Academy Fellowship, the highest honor, at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
    2012 - Reprises his role as Saruman from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in part one of "The Hobbit" trilogy, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
    May 27, 2013 - Releases his "100 percent heavy metal" album, "Charlemagne: The Omens of Death", a follow-up to the more symphonic "Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross from 2010.
    December 2013 - Releases a second heavy metal Christmas album, "A Heavy Metal Christmas Too," a follow-up to his 2012 "A Heavy Metal Christmas."
    June 7, 2015 - Christopher Lee passes away after being hospitalized for respiratory issues and heart failure.